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Analog Way Aquilon C Drives New LED Screen in Major New York City Corporate Installation

Chicago-based M2 Events Group selected an Analog Way Aquilon C 4K/8K presentation system and videowall processor to drive a new high-resolution LED screen in the renovated auditorium of a Fortune 100 company headquartered in Manhattan.  The design build project marked an extensive upgrade for the space and its high-tech control room, which act as the AV hub feeding an additional meeting room on another floor and a basement broadcast studio.

“Our specialties are live event rental and staging and integration for large players,” explains Nauman Lalani, Director of Special Projects for M2 Events Group, which is comprised of Directions AV, Music Matters Productions and Big Picture.  “The client knew how we managed live event projects and came to us when their auditorium needed an upgrade.  The space originally featured a 12 x 6 LCD monitor wall installed in 2005, so adding a 24 x 7-foot 0.9mm LED wall with 8K x 2K resolution was a huge step up for them.”

The auditorium is a flexible, multi-purpose space seating about 250 people.  It can be configured theater style with the audience facing a raised stage area and lectern or outfitted with classroom tables or rectangular conference tables.  It is used almost daily for meetings, rehearsals for off-site events, broadcasts, and training sessions.  Audiences are both in-person and remote with programming simulcast to multiple destinations across multiple platforms nationwide and in other parts of the corporate office.

“We own some Analog Way equipment on our rental side, so we’ve been around their products a lot and like to keep on top of their new gear,” says Lalani.  “We needed a system to handle all the processing in the auditorium and deliver a custom look to the screen.  Analog Way Aquilon checked all the boxes and fit the budget.  Big factors in our choice were Analog Way’s Crestron integration plus its low latency and accurate color reproduction.”

The fact that the Aquilon C is Crestron-certified played a “monumental” role in its selection, he emphasizes.  “The auditorium is booked for so many meetings, sometimes two a day, and you never know if there will be a single operator for the room or ten different operators.  The system had to be scalable. The Crestron touch panel at the main operator’s desk handles the Aquilon’s inputs via presets, with an iPad for audio control and PTZ camera controllers.  It’s a system that’s viable for meetings of any size.”

The auditorium’s control room features a production switcher whose I/Os feed SDI matrix routers, which in turn create multi-views and feed a patch panel to the Aquilon C and its multiple presets.  “The Aquilon is the final output, processing all the visuals before outputting to the LED processor,” says Lalani.  “It manages the entire LED wall delivering custom looks and limitless possibilities in sizing and positioning on one large, seamless screen.”

The Aquilon’s output cloning feature enables duplicate feeds for redundant display feeds while saving processing resources.  Auxiliary 4K outputs, as well as capability for customizable I/O formats, were used to drive a variety of displays and devices.  

Minimal latency was also a critical issue with the Aquilon delivering just one frame of latency from input to output. “Providing a seamless experience for everyone in the room was essential,” says Lalani.  “The client has fully adopted the Zoom workflow with seven PCs creating mix minuses in and out of the Aquilon to accommodate multiple speakers on screen.”

All production spaces within the corporate headquarters are managed by an in-house AV team. Analog Way provided on-site training for the Aquilon to bring all production staff up to speed in the new presentation workflow. “It only took them a few hours to learn to use the system and its options to customize looks and build layouts to order,” says Lalani.  

“Complicated user interfaces that require three days of training are not worth it.  Operators need systems they can learn quickly even if they have never used them before. For us as integrators to see how simple it was to get the Aquilon up and running speaks well for choosing Analog Way gear in the future.”


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